Browsing by Subject "TRANSMISSION"

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  • Nichols, Hazel J.; Arbuckle, Kevin; Sanderson, Jennifer L.; Vitikainen, Emma I. K.; Marshall, Harry H.; Thompson, Faye J.; Cant, Michael A.; Wells, David A. (2021)
    Personality traits, such as the propensity to cooperate, are often inherited from parents to offspring, but the pathway of inheritance is unclear. Traits could be inherited via genetic or parental effects, or culturally via social learning from role models. However, these pathways are difficult to disentangle in natural systems as parents are usually the source of all of these effects. Here, we exploit natural 'cross fostering' in wild banded mongooses to investigate the inheritance of cooperative behaviour. Our analysis of 800 adult helpers over 21 years showed low but significant genetic heritability of cooperative personalities in males but not females. Cross fostering revealed little evidence of cultural heritability: offspring reared by particularly cooperative helpers did not become more cooperative themselves. Our results demonstrate that cooperative personalities are not always highly heritable in wild, and that the basis of behavioural traits can vary within a species (here, by sex).
  • Pryce, Rhys; Azarm, Kristopher; Rissanen, Ilona; Harlos, Karl; Bowden, Thomas A.; Lee, Benhur (2020)
    The emergent zoonotic henipaviruses, Hendra, and Nipah are responsible for frequent and fatal disease outbreaks in domestic animals and humans. Specificity of henipavirus attachment glycoproteins (G) for highly species-conserved ephrin ligands underpins their broad host range and is associated with systemic and neurological disease pathologies. Here, we demonstrate that Cedar virus (CedV)—a related henipavirus that is ostensibly nonpathogenic—possesses an idiosyncratic entry receptor repertoire that includes the common henipaviral receptor, ephrin-B2, but, distinct from pathogenic henipaviruses, does not include ephrin-B3. Uniquely among known henipaviruses, CedV can use ephrin-B1 for cellular entry. Structural analyses of CedV-G reveal a key region of molecular specificity that directs ephrin-B1 utilization, while preserving a universal mode of ephrin-B2 recognition. The structural and functional insights presented uncover diversity within the known henipavirus receptor repertoire and suggest that only modest structural changes may be required to modulate receptor specificities within this group of lethal human pathogens.
  • Hetemäki, Iivo; Kaariainen, Sohvi; Alho, Pirjo; Mikkola, Janne; Savolainen-Kopra, Carita; Ikonen, Niina; Nohynek, Hanna; Lyytikainen, Outi (2021)
    An outbreak caused by the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant (B.1.617.2) spread from one inpatient in a secondary care hospital to three primary care facilities, resulting in 58 infections including 18 deaths in patients and 45 infections in healthcare workers (HCW). Only one of the deceased cases was fully vaccinated. Transmission occurred despite the use of personal protective equipment by the HCW, as advised in national guidelines, and a high two-dose COVID-19 vaccination coverage among permanent staff members in the COVID-19 cohort ward.
  • Netherlands, Edward C.; Cook, Courtney A.; Du Preez, Louis H.; Vanhove, Maarten P.M.; Brendonck, Luc; Smit, Nico J. (2020)
    Haemogregarine (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina) blood parasites are commonly reported from anuran hosts. Dactylosomatidae (Jakowska and Nigrelli, 1955) is a group of haemogregarines comprising Dactylosoma Labbe, 1894 and Babesiosoma Jakowska and Nigrelli, 1956. Currently Dactylosoma and Babesiosoma contain five recognised species each. In the current study, a total of 643 anurans, comprising 38 species, 20 genera, and 13 families were collected from South Africa (n = 618) and Belgium (n = 25), and their blood screened for the presence of dactylosomatid parasites. Three anuran species were found infected namely, Ptychadena anchietae (Bocage, 1868) and Sclerophrys gutturalis (Power, 1927) from South Africa, and Pelophylax lessonae (Camerano, 1882) from Belgium. Based on morphological characteristics, morphometrics and molecular results a new dactylosomatid, Dactylosoma kermiti n. sp. is described form Pty. anchietae and Scl. gutturalis. The species of Dactylosoma isolated from Pel. lessonae could not, based on morphological or molecular analysis, be identified to species level. Phylogenetic analysis shows species of Dactylosoma infecting anurans as a monophyletic group separate from the other haemogregarine groups. Additionally, the mosquitoes Uranotaenia (Pseudoficalbia) mashonaensis Theobald, 1901 and U. (Pfc.) montana Ingram and De Meillon, 1927 were observed feeding on Scl. gutturalis in situ and possible dividing stages of this new parasite were observed in the mosquitoes. This study is the first to describe a dactylosomatid parasite based on morphological and molecular data from Africa as well as observe potential stages in possible dipteran vectors.
  • Loikkanen, Emil; Oristo, Satu; Hämäläinen, Natalia; Jokelainen, Pikka; Kantala, Tuija; Sukura, Antti; Maunula, Leena (2020)
    The main animal reservoirs of zoonotic hepatitis E virus (HEV) are domestic pigs and wild boars, but HEV also infects cervids. In this study, we estimated the prevalence of HEV in Finnish cervid species that are commonly hunted for human consumption. We investigated sera from 342 European moose (Alces alces), 70 white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), and 12 European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus). The samples had been collected from legally hunted animals from different districts of Finland during 2008–2009. We analysed the samples for total anti-HEV antibodies using a double-sandwich ELISA assay. Seropositive sera were analysed with RT-qPCR for HEV RNA. HEV seroprevalence was 9.1% (31/342) in moose and 1.4% (1/70) in white-tailed deer. None of the European roe deer were HEV seropositive (0/12). No HEV RNA was detected from samples of seropositive animals. HEV seropositive moose were detected in all districts. Statistically, HEV seroprevalence in moose was significantly higher (p 
  • Within-family Consortium; 23andMe Res Team; Brumpton, Ben; Sanderson, Eleanor; Heilbron, Karl; Kaprio, Jaakko; Davies, Neil M. (2020)
    Estimates from Mendelian randomization studies of unrelated individuals can be biased due to uncontrolled confounding from familial effects. Here we describe methods for within-family Mendelian randomization analyses and use simulation studies to show that family-based analyses can reduce such biases. We illustrate empirically how familial effects can affect estimates using data from 61,008 siblings from the Nord-TrOndelag Health Study and UK Biobank and replicated our findings using 222,368 siblings from 23andMe. Both Mendelian randomization estimates using unrelated individuals and within family methods reproduced established effects of lower BMI reducing risk of diabetes and high blood pressure. However, while Mendelian randomization estimates from samples of unrelated individuals suggested that taller height and lower BMI increase educational attainment, these effects were strongly attenuated in within-family Mendelian randomization analyses. Our findings indicate the necessity of controlling for population structure and familial effects in Mendelian randomization studies. Family-based study designs have been applied to resolve confounding by population stratification, dynastic effects and assortative mating in genetic association analyses. Here, Brumpton et al. describe theory and simulations for overcoming such biases in Mendelian randomization through within-family studies.
  • Rene-Martellet, Magalie; Minard, Guillaume; Massot, Raphael; Van Tran Van,; Moro, Claire Valiente; Chabanne, Luc; Mavingui, Patrick (2017)
    Background: Ticks of the group Rhipicephalus sanguineus (sensu lato) are distributed worldwide and are major pathogen vectors of both dogs and humans. Previous phylogenetic reconstructions have suggested the existence of two main lineages within this group, "Tropical" and "Temperate". Symbiotic interactions contribute to vector development, survival, reproduction and competence. The diversity of microbial communities associated with different populations of R. sanguineus (s.l.) remains poorly characterized, however, this knowledge will aid in future studies of hosts-microbiota-pathogen interactions. To gain insight into the bacterial communities associated with R. sanguineus (s.l.) ticks, 40 specimens from France, Senegal and Arizona were analyzed by high-throughput 16S amplicon sequencing. All tick specimens were taxonomically classified using the mitochondrial 12S rDNA gene, which provides sufficient phylogenetic resolution to discriminate different lineages of R. sanguineus. Results: Rhipicephalus sanguineus (s.l.) samples from Senegal belonged to the "Tropical" lineage, samples from France belonged to the "Temperate" lineage, whereas both lineages were identified in samples from Arizona. Regardless of origin, each bacterial microbiota was dominated by three genera: Coxiella, Rickettsia and Bacillus. Rickettsia and Coxiella were the two main genera found in females whereas males had a higher proportion of Bacillus. Significant differences of relative abundances were evidenced between specimens from different geographical origins. Conclusions: This study highlights differences in the microbiota composition within R. sanguineus (s.l.) specimens from different genotypes, genders and geographical origins. This knowledge will help in future studies of the symbiotic interactions, biology and vector competence of the R. sanguineus (s.l.) complex.
  • Oliviero, Claudio; Lindh, Lena; Peltoniemi, Olli (2019)
    The feral pig populations of many countries continue to increase. Scientific studies on population size are scarce, while the numbers of reported observations on presence of and damage caused by feral pigs are increasing. Feral pigs can carry and spread several diseases (including zoonotic), but African Swine Fever (ASF) is of most concern. It is a highly transmissible viral disease associated with an extremely high mortality rate. Since 2009 ASF has appeared in several European countries, with cases being identified first among local feral pigs and consequently in domestic pig production units, indicating a clear linkage with the movement of the feral pig population and the spread of the disease across national boundaries. Control of feral pig populations is currently under discussion. Because massive culling raises questions of animal welfare and ethics, fertility control could represent an important and effective means to control feral pig populations. Contraceptive vaccines have been used with some degree of success in many wild species because they are able to provide a long-term effect without any consequent health problems. However, extensive and efficacious use of vaccines to control feral pig populations is not simple. The aim of this article was to review the progress in immunocontraception use in feral pigs, providing an account of the current status and future perspectives.
  • Popova, Dina; Castren, Eero; Taira, Tomi (2017)
    Recent studies demonstrate that chronic administration of the widely used antidepressant fluoxetine (FLX) promotes neurogenesis, synaptogenesis and synaptic plasticity in the adult hippocampus, cortex and amygdala. However, the mechanisms underlying these effects and how are they related to the clinical antidepressant efficacy are still poorly understood. We show here that chronic FLX administration decreases hippocampus-associated neophobia in naive mice. In parallel, electrophysiological recordings in hippocampal CA3-CA1 circuitry revealed that the FLX treatment resulted in increased short and long-term plasticity likely attributed to changes in presynaptic function. These changes were accompanied by enhancement in the expression of proteins related to vesicular trafficking and release, namely synaptophysin, synaptotagmin 1, MUNC 18 and syntaxin 1. Thus, chronic FLX administration is associated with enhanced synaptic dynamics atypical of mature CA1 synapses, elevated hippocampal plasticity, improved hippocampus-dependent behavior as well as altered expression of synaptic proteins regulating neurotransmitter trafficking and release. The results support the idea that antidepressants can promote neuronal plasticity and show that they can increase the functional dynamic range and information processing in synaptic circuitries. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Keller, Saskia; Hetzel, Udo; Sironen, Tarja; Korzyukov, Yegor; Vapalahti, Olli; Kipar, Anja; Hepojoki, Jussi (2017)
    Boid inclusion body disease (BIBD) is an often fatal disease affecting mainly constrictor snakes. BIBD has been associated with infection, and more recently with coinfection, by various reptarenavirus species (family Arenaviridae). Thus far BIBD has only been reported in captive snakes, and neither the incubation period nor the route of transmission are known. Herein we provide strong evidence that co-infecting reptarenavirus species can be vertically transmitted in Boa constrictor. In total we examined five B. constrictor clutches with offspring ranging in age from embryos over perinatal abortions to juveniles. The mother and/or father of each clutch were initially diagnosed with BIBD andor reptarenavirus infection by detection of the pathognomonic inclusion bodies (IB) andor reptarenaviral RNA. By applying next-generation sequencing and de novo sequence assembly we determined the "reptarenavirome " of each clutch, yielding several nearly complete L and S segments of multiple reptarenaviruses. We further confirmed vertical transmission of the co-infecting reptarenaviruses by species-specific RT-PCR from samples of parental animals and offspring. Curiously, not all offspring obtained the full parental "reptarenavirome". We extended our findings by an in vitro approach; cell cultures derived from embryonal samples rapidly developed IB and promoted replication of some or all parental viruses. In the tissues of embryos and perinatal abortions, viral antigen was sometimes detected, but IB were consistently seen only in the juvenile snakes from the age of 2 mo onwards. In addition to demonstrating vertical transmission of multiple species, our results also indicate that reptarenavirus infection induces BIBD over time in the offspring.
  • Bos, Nick; Kankaanpää-Kukkonen, Viljami; Freitak, Dalial; Stucki, Dimitri; Sundström, Liselotte (2019)
    Eusocial insects, such as ants, have access to complex disease defenses both at the individual, and at the colony level. However, different species may be exposed to different diseases, and/or deploy different methods of coping with disease. Here, we studied and compared survival after fungal exposure in 12 species of ants, all of which inhabit similar habitats. We exposed the ants to two entomopathogenic fungi (Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium brunneum), and measured how exposure to these fungi influenced survival. We furthermore recorded hygienic behaviors, such as autogrooming, allogrooming and trophallaxis, during the days after exposure. We found strong differences in autogrooming behavior between the species, but none of the study species performed extensive allogrooming or trophallaxis under the experimental conditions. Furthermore, we discuss the possible importance of the metapleural gland, and how the secondary loss of this gland in the genus Camponotus could favor a stronger behavioral response against pathogen threats.
  • Kiyuka, Patience Kerubo; Meri, Seppo; Khattab, Ayman (2020)
    The malaria parasite has for long been thought to escape host complement attack as a survival strategy. However, it was only recently that complement evasion mechanisms of the parasite were described. Simultaneously, the role of complement in antibody-mediated naturally acquired and vaccine-induced protection against malaria has also been reported. Such findings should be considered in future vaccine design, given the current need to develop more efficacious vaccines against malaria. Parasite antigens derived from molecules mediating functions crucial for parasite survival, such as complement evasion, or parasite antigens against which antibody responses lead to an efficient complement attack could present new candidates for vaccines. In this review, we discuss recent findings on complement evasion by the malaria parasites and the emerging role of complement in antibody-mediated protection against malaria. We emphasize that immune responses to vaccines based on complement inhibitors should not only induce complement-activating antibodies but also neutralize the escape mechanisms of the parasite.
  • Oristo, Satu; Rönnqvist, Maria; Aho, Mika; Sovijärvi, Ava; Hannila-Handelberg, Tuula; Horman, Ari; Nikkari, Simo; Kinnunen, Paula M.; Maunula, Leena (2017)
    This study investigated the presence of norovirus and adenovirus, especially enteric adenovirus, on the environmental surfaces (n = 481) and military conscripts' hands (n = 109) in two Finnish garrisons (A and B) in 2013 and 2014. A questionnaire study was conducted to reveal possible correlations between viral findings on the conscripts' hands and their acute gastroenteritis symptoms. In addition to the swab samples, 14 fecal samples were obtained for viral analysis. In total, norovirus was present in 9.0 % of the surface swabs in 2013, whereas enteric adenovirus was present in 0.0 % and non-enteric adenovirus in 9.4 %. In the same year, 2.6 % of the hand swabs contained norovirus, 2.6 % enteric adenovirus, and 40.3 % non-enteric adenovirus. Norovirus GI.6 was continually detected on the surfaces of garrison A, and identical virus was detected in some of the fecal samples. In garrison B, two slightly different norovirus GII.4 strains were present on the surfaces. The questionnaires revealed no recent acute gastroenteritis cases in garrison A, but in garrison B, where the norovirus-positive hand swabs were collected, 30.6 % of the conscripts reported of recent symptoms. In 2014, norovirus was rarely detected, but adenovirus was again frequently present, both on the surfaces and hands. Taken together, our results suggest that gastroenteritis outbreaks occurred in 2013, but not in 2014. Due to the low number of hand swabs positive for enteric viruses, no conclusions about associations between viral findings and gastroenteritis symptoms could be drawn. This study increased our understanding of the possible transmission of viruses via contaminated environment and hands.
  • Pett, Helmi; Bradley, John; Okebe, Joseph; Dicko, Alassane; Tiono, Alfred B.; Goncalves, Bronner P.; Stone, Will; Chen, Ingrid; Lanke, Kjerstin; Neuvonen, Mikko; Mustaniemi, Anna-Liina; Eziefula, Alice C.; Gosling, Roly; D'Alessandro, Umberto; Drakeley, Chris; Niemi, Mikko; Bousema, Teun (2019)
    Single-dose primaquine (PQ) clears mature gametocytes and reduces the transmission of Plasmodium fakiparurn after artemisinin combination therapy. Genetic variation in CYP2D6, the gene producing the drug-metabolizing enzyme cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6), influences plasma concentrations of PQ and its metabolites and is associated with PQ treatment failure in Plasmodium vivax malaria. Using blood and saliva samples of varying quantity and quality from 8 clinical trials across Africa (n = 1,076), we were able to genotype CYP2D6 for 774 samples (72%). We determined whether genetic variation in CYP2D6 has implications for PQ efficacy in individuals with gametocytes at the time of PQ administration (n = 554) and for safety in glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD)-deficient individuals treated with PQ (n = 110). Individuals with a genetically inferred CYP2D6 poor/intermediate metabolizer status had a higher gametocyte prevalence on day 7 or 10 after PQ than those with an extensive/ultrarapid CYP2D6 metabolizer status (odds ratio [OR] = 1.79 [95% confidence interval {CI}, 1.10, 2.90]; P = 0.018). The mean minimum hemoglobin concentrations during follow-up for G6PD-deficient individuals were 11.8 g/dl for CYP2D6 extensive/ultrarapid metabolizers and 12.1 g/dl for CYP2D6 poor/intermediate metabolizers (P = 0. 803). CYP2D6 genetically inferred metabolizer status was also not associated with anemia following PQ treatment (P = 0.331). We conclude that CYP2D6 poor/intermediate metabolizer status may be associated with prolonged gametocyte carriage after treatment with single-low-dose PQ but not with treatment safety.
  • Virtanen, Jenni; Aaltonen, Kirsi; Vapalahti, Olli; Sironen, Tarja (2020)
    Aleutian disease (AD), caused by Aleutian mink disease virus (AMDV), causes significant welfare problems to mink, and financial losses to the farmers. As there is no vaccine or treatment available, reliable diagnostics is important for disease control. Here, we set up a probe-based real-time PCR (NS1-probe-PCR) to detect all strains of AMDV. PCR was validated and compared to two other real-time PCR methods (pan-AMDV- and pan-AMDO-PCR) currently used for AMDV diagnostics in Finland. The NS1-probe-PCR had a similar detection limit of 20 copies/reaction based on plasmid dilution series, and similar or better diagnostic sensitivity, when evaluated using spleen samples from mink, and stool samples from mink and foxes. None of the three PCR tests cross-reacted with other parvoviruses. The NS1-probe-PCR also showed a significantly higher specificity than the pan-AMDO-PCR with spleen samples and the best specificity with stool samples. Furthermore, it produced the results more rapidly than the other two PCRs making it a promising tool for both diagnostic and research purposes.
  • Luchkina, Natalia V.; Huupponen, Johanna; Clarke, Vernon R. J.; Coleman, Sarah K.; Keinanen, Kari; Taira, Tomi; Lauri, Sari E. (2014)
  • Pietilä, Jukka-Pekka; Meri, Taru; Siikamäki, Heli; Tyyni, Elisabet; Kerttula, Anne-Marie; Pakarinen, Laura; Jokiranta, T. Sakari; Kantele, Anu (2019)
    Despite the global distribution of the intestinal protozoan Dientamoeba fragilis, its clinical picture remains unclear. This results from underdiagnosis: microscopic screening methods either lack sensitivity (wet preparation) or fail to reveal Dientamoeba (formalin-fixed sample). Aim: In a retrospective study setting, we characterised the clinical picture of dientamoebiasis and compared it with giardiasis. In addition, we evaluated an improved approach to formalin-fixed samples for suitability in Dientamoeba diagnostics. Methods: This study comprised four parts: (i) a descriptive part scrutinising rates of Dientamoeba findings; (ii) a methodological part analysing an approach to detect Dientamoebalike structures in formalin samples; (iii) a clinical part corn paring demographics and symptoms between patients with dientamoebiasis (n = 352) and giardiasis (n = 272), and (iv) a therapeutic part (n = 89 patients) investigating correlation between faecal eradication and clinical improvement. Results: The rate of Dientamoeba findings increased 20-fold after introducing criteria for Dientamoeba-like structures in formalin-fixed samples (88.9% sensitivity and 83.3% specificity). A further increase was seen after implementing faecal PCR. Compared with patients with giardiasis, the symptoms in the Dientamoeba group lasted longer and more often included abdominal pain, cramping, faecal urgency and loose rather than watery stools. Resolved symptoms correlated with successful faecal eradication (p<0.001). Conclusions: Previously underdiagnosed, Dientamoeba has become the most frequently recorded pathogenic enteroparasite in Finland. This presumably results from improved diagnostics with either PCR or detection of Dientamoeba-like structures in formalin-fixed samples, an approach applicable also in resource-poor settings. Symptoms of dientamoebiasis differ slightly from those of giardiasis; patients with distressing symptoms require treatment.
  • Vesala, Risto; Niskanen, Tuula; Liimatainen, Kare; Boga, Hamadi; Pellikka, Petri; Rikkinen, Jouko (2017)
    Fungus-growing termites of the subfamily Macrotermitinae together with their highly specialized fungal symbionts (Termitomyces) are primary decomposers of dead plant matter in many African savanna ecosystems. The termites provide crucial ecosystem services also by modifying soil properties, translocating nutrients, and as important drivers of plant succession. Despite their obvious ecological importance, many basic features in the biology of fungus-growing termites and especially their fungal symbionts remain poorly known, and no studies have so far focused on possible habitat-level differences in symbiont diversity across heterogeneous landscapes. We studied the species identities of Macrotermes termites and their Termitomyces symbionts by excavating 143 termite mounds at eight study sites in the semiarid Tsavo Ecosystem of southern Kenya. Reference specimens were identified by sequencing the COI region from termites and the ITS region from symbiotic fungi. The results demonstrate that the regional Macrotermes community in Tsavo includes two sympatric species (M. subhyalinus and M. michaelseni) which cultivate and largely share three species of Termitomyces symbionts. A single species of fungus is always found in each termite mound, but even closely adjacent colonies of the same termite species often house evolutionarily divergent fungi. The species identities of both partners vary markedly between sites, suggesting hitherto unknown differences in their ecological requirements. It is apparent that both habitat heterogeneity and disturbance history can influence the regional distribution patterns of both partners in symbiosis.
  • Korpela, Katri; de Vos, Willem M. (2018)
    Microbes colonising the infant intestine, especially bacteria, are considered important for metabolic and immunological programming in early life, potentially affecting the susceptibility of the host to disease. We combined published data to provide a global view of microbiota development in early life. The results support the concept that the microbiota develops with age in an orchestrated manner, showing common patterns across populations. Furthermore, infants are colonised at birth by specific, selected maternal faecal bacteria and likely their bacteriophages. Therefore, infants are adapted to receiving specific bacterial signals, partly derived from the maternal microbiota, at successive immunological time windows during early development. Birth by caesarean section compromises the initial vertical transmission of microbes whereas antibiotic use shifts the microbiota away from the normal developmental pattern. These disruptions alter the microbial signals that the host receives, potentially affecting child development.